There were '25,000 Evanses' in Cardiff last night and the singing was something to witness.
'Something dawned on me during the week in Dublin,' explained Bono as Edge played the opening notes of Miracle Drug. 'Like St Patrick, Edge was stolen from Wales and brought to Ireland in order to save us all!'
The roof over the Millennium Stadium may have been closed tonight, but you could have heard the cheers from 60,000 Welsh people all the way across the sea in Dublin. The same sea that the band had negotiated only a few minutes before, arriving for their date at the shrine of Welsh rugby, only an hour or so before show time. And Edge, whose parents moved from the South Wales town of Llanelli before he had learned to say the word 'plectrum', had lots of family members here tonight. Bono welcomed them: 'The Evanses are here tonight, all 25,000 of them!'
Maybe it was the fact that with the roof closing out the sky, this was the biggest indoor show on the European leg, but it was definitely a Hot Fuss tonight - a steaming set from The Killers, making their tour debut, following a winning set from Starsailor. The Welsh were up for it. There was no 'Everyone, Everyone...'audio intro, the band just walked out on stage while Arcade Fire's 'Wake Up' was still going strong, introduced themselves ('Larry Mullen Jnr... Mr Bassman...') and tore into Vertigo.
'Hands up who's not related to The Edge?' asked Bono. Seemed like everyone was and they knew how to sing: Elevation, New Year's Day, Beautiful Day, Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking for:' Take us to church now...' urged Bono, as the massed choirs roared. 'We've got that Presbyterian sound...!'
Talking of Church, opera singer turned pop-start Charlotte was in the house, as was Midge Ure - taking a break from Live8 preparations - and Welsh rappers Goldie Lookin Chain, who hail from just down the M4 in Newport. Longtime U2 studio collaborator Nellee Hooper was also about. Miracle Drug went out again to the scientists, doctors and nurses - 'especially the nurses' - while 'Sometimes...' was dedicated to Ken, a friend of Bono's father Bob.
This being the last show before the band open up Live8 at Hyde Park on Saturday, before a worldwide audience that will run into hundreds of millions, the sequence of Pride, Streets and One had an added urgency tonight. 'The dream goes on, not just an American dream, nor a European drea, but also an Asian dream, also an African dream...from the end of slavery to the end of apartheid, from drop the debt to Make Poverty History.. the journey of equality .. goes... on!'
Wonder what they'll play on Saturday! Was Live Aid really twenty years ago ? Can't wait. We'll keep you posted on Live8 news as we get it - meantime, if the anticipation is building, here's
a good place to get familiar with the story behind it all.
Cardiff Set List in Full.
I Will Follow
New Year's Day
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
All I Want is You
City of Blinding Lights
Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
Love and Peace
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Bullet The Blue Sky
Running to Standstill
Pride In the Name of Love
Where the Streets have No Name
With or Without You
All Because of You